26 September 2020

COVID-19 update – 26 September 2020 – Patricia Oldendorff vessel

The Department of Health can confirm that there have been seven additional positive COVID-19 results from the crew of the Patricia Oldendorff, making a total of nine.

The seven new positive cases are part of the nine-crew remaining on the vessel. The two remaining crew have tested negative and will be serology tested.

These results whilst confirmed, were not included in the total case count for Western Australia today – which stands at 669, as they were confirmed after 24-hour reporting cycle ended. The additional cases will be included in tomorrow’s total case numbers.

The 12 transferred off yesterday, including the two positive cases, remain well in hotel accommodation under quarantine.

Given the size of the vessel and number of crew, the Department of Health anticipates additional crew will also become COVID-19 positive over coming days.

Planning is being put in place with the vessel operator, Australian Maritime Safety Authority and Pilbara Ports Authority regarding the safety of the vessel and potential replacement crew – if required. Daily cleaning of the vessel has also commenced, with a deep clean to be conducted prior to any new crew boarding the vessel.

The Department of Health, together with the WA Country Health Service, would like to reassure the Port Hedland community that every safety measure is being put in place to protect the local community.

These crew do not currently need medical treatment, but should it be required, every precaution will be in place to protect healthcare workers and members of the public.

Any transfers will be undertaken with the safety of the maritime workers, emergency services and transport staff, hotel staff and the local community as our number one priority.

Health has experience managing outbreaks on vessels and will put every precaution in place to ensure the ongoing safety of the local community.

Note: A local press conference will be held in Port Hedland this afternoon. A media alert will be issued with details in due course.

Media contact: 9222 4333
Follow us on Twitter: <@WAHealth